Human Rights

The only two seats marked for NGOs in room 20 (where the Human Rights Council meets)

The Human Rights Programme supports local women human rights defenders’ engagement with international human rights bodies, and advocates for respect and protection of human rights in order to achieve peace.

Through submissions, statements and other engagement with the UN human rights bodies, for example with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures, the Programme advocates for States to comply with their human rights obligations.

Additionally, it facilitates access and platforms for women to engage with the UN human rights system in order to increase their participation, share their analysis and hold their governments accountable for the implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda, and the fulfilment of their obligations related to women’s rights. It works to ensure that these bodies are informed by women’s experiences, especially from conflict and post-conflict areas, and addresses issues such as women and girls’ right to participation, equality, justice, and to live free from violence and oppression.

“To move beyond a politics of fear, we must all find ways to act in solidarity to uphold the rights of those most marginalised.”

Working closely with WILPF’s national Sections and local partners from conflict-affected areas and other settings, the Programme advocates for sustainable peace-building by supporting women’s participation in decision-making, and promoting other conflict prevention measures, such as disarmament and the development of just economic systems respectful of human rights.

Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.